Are you planning a trip to Laos? We spent one month there travelling from south to north and we fell in love with the country. Our Laos Travel Guide will help you to make your trip fun, interesting, very cheap and easy with no hassle.
Don Det (4000 islands) is the perfect island if you’re looking for relaxation. Here you can chill in a hammock all day long, and if you feel tired of doing nothing, you can always try some yummy street food, swim in a waterfall, go tubing in the Mekong river or check out the nightlife in town. If you’re looking for weed you’ll find it there! Don Det Island is the perfect start, or end, of your Laos travel.
THINGS TO DO IN DON DET
Chilling: Don Det is the perfect place to relax and chill. Most bungalows have hammocks outside, and it’s an amazing feeling to watch the sunset over Mekong River from there.
Tubing: Maybe you have heard about the famous tubing in Vang Vieng, another backpacker place in Laos. There is tubing in Don Det as well, but cheaper and not as crowded as Vang Vieng. Why not watch the sunset while tubing with a beer in your hand? You can rent a tube in the town if your bungalow resort doesn’t have it.
Waterfalls: There are several waterfalls to visit, and we really recommend you to do it. The waterfalls are maybe not the most spectacular ones in Laos, but on the way to reach them you will experience beautiful nature, animals, temples and get the chance to meet friendly locals. The waterfalls are actually not on Don Det itself. You have to cross a bridge to the neighbour island Don Khon. We recommend you to visit Li Phi Waterfall there, also called Somphamit Waterfall.
Swimming: Close to Li Phi Waterfalls there is a beach, called Khongyai Beach, where you can have a bath in the Mekong River. Be careful though because there can be strong currents.
Nightlife: To be honest, if you’re looking for wild nightlife Don Det is not the right place. But still you can find bars with music, alcohol and weed. We didn’t try the nightlife but just head to the town and you’ll see where the backpacker crowd is.
WHERE TO EAT THE BEST FOOD IN DON DET
We had most of our meals in the restaurant that belonged to our guesthouse called Sengthavan 2 Guesthouse. Even if you don’t stay there it’s worth going there to have breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The restaurants on the island have similar menus and prices. You will find Lao Noodle Soup, Spicy Papaya Salad, Minced Pork Salad (Larb) and of course the Mekong River Fish. As most restaurants cater to backpackers they also have a selection of Western dishes. Expect pancakes, pizza, french fries and, surprisingly, also Shakshuka.
If you have a stroll in the town you will find women selling street food, for example samosa.
WHERE TO SLEEP IN DON DET
Sengthavan 2 Guesthouse is a place we really recommend you to stay. For 50 000 kip you get a double room facing the Mekong River. Outside you have two hammocks, and as this place is on the west side of the island you can watch the sunset from here. The family who owns the place is really friendly and cooks amazing food.
It’s easy to just go to Don Det, walk around, ask for prices and choose an accommodation you like. If you want you can also book an accommodation in advance. We always book our accommodations HERE! You can have $15 discount on your first booking if you use our link.
HOW TO GET TO DON DET
You can get to Don Det and the other neighbour islands by Ferry. Go to the Nakasong town off the road 13 and lead west until you reach the Nakasong Ferry Boat Station.
Close to the Ferry Station you will see the queue to take the ferry, just wait for your turn to be boarded.
If you are coming by motorbike, be ready to test your driving skills!
Go in the same direction of the main Ferry Boat Station but when you are close to it, ask around for the motorbike boat.
In fact, a bit south of the Ferry Station there is a slope that leads to the beach and there you will find some boats that look more like two kayaks sticked together with some sort of engine.
They will put a small wooden bending slope to let you drive your motorbike on and off the boat (watch the video to get an idea!)
USEFUL TRAVEL HACKS
- Rent a bike in the town to easier explore Don Det and Don Khon.
- Happy shake, happy pizza, happy cookie. You’ll find all of it there but be careful and do your research before you try.
- Are you a sunset lover? Find a place to stay with a hammock on the west side of Don Det.
If you have a any questions about Don Det or Laos feel free to comment here, or contact us on our Facebook page!